Two storms came through yesterday afternoon and dumped a bunch of the wet stuff on the thirsty ground. The sagebrush is very fragrant after showers like this, it’s so soothing. Reminds me of just one of the reasons I fell in love with Wyoming.
The hills are alive with the color green. As it should be for this time of year. It has cooled off with a little rain here and there and leaves are finally appearing. Such a happy sight. The chickens are happy too, especially because bugs are starting to crawl and hop.
Tis the season where Wyoming cannot decide what she wants to do. Yesterday she rained with a little snow mixed in. She blew, she stood still, she grew warm and then she howled for most of the night.
Now the weatherman says she will dump about 10 inches of snow on us tonight through tomorrow. But I’ll believe it when I see it. All winter we’ve been teased by the weatherman that we would get some great moisture from storms and all she does is sprinkle on us… and sometimes not even that. At least my camera and I get to capture the confusion in her skies and bring them right to you.
I wanted to share a few images with you of this past weekend. It is VERY cold, like 10 (or so) below zero cold, and I haven’t been out much. But I did step out at sunset to grab these peaceful scenes.
It’s a solid blanket of white and glitter except for the footsteps of deer trailing down to the river.
The river is totally frozen over so I’m sure they have to break the ice with their hooves to get a chilly sip.
I posted this image on my facebook page this weekend after a few email requests to show what below zero looks like. About 2 inches of snow fell on the ground Friday night and a light skiff last night. The ground is frozen underneath and with these low temps, it isn’t going to go anywhere anytime soon. Brrrr.
We had a hard rain yesterday. And with a hard rain comes lightning strikes causing more fires. Colorado has it way worse than we do but we are fighting our share.
Patrick and I trailed cattle on horseback yesterday morning and could smell the smoke the entire time.
Once the sun came out after the rain yesterday evening, the smog over the hills was so thick.
But on to happier thoughts, the bucks are growing their antlers and are still in the velvet.
Just look at this happy family.
We had a staring contest. I won because they took off quickly after I shot this. Bambi and father ran together for a while until they found mom again.
The last few days have been utterly amazing, very busy and extremely heartwarming. Three of my most favorite friends came out for a visit and we had a blast. While they were here we worked on a video shoot for a client of theirs, a photo shoot for a client of mine, Uprooted Magnolia was featured on the WordPress list of “8 Gorgeous Nature Blogs for Earth Day”, and I received a call from an ad agency here in Wyoming for several photo shoots for this upcoming summer. Wow, it’s been a whirlwind! I now call this trio my good luck charms. I did put them to work on the ranch however. We moved some cows and brought Poco and Kate and their colts to new pasture. They watched a calf being born from a distance, viewed several turkey struts, and we even stumbled on a snake or two. Yikes!
I’ve got to get back to work on processing the images from my shoot this past weekend but I wanted to check in with you and say THANK YOU. Thank you to my now 510! followers, new and old. You all have been a great support and inspiration. I love hearing from you and am flattered beyond words that WordPress would feature my images for the community to see. I am truly grateful.
I’ll see you soon.
It’s a beautiful morning here on the ranch. I love when there is a blanket of fog through the meadows. The damp air is a nice change from the dry temps we have experienced these last few weeks.
I captured this image on the way to feed the little bum calf this morning. He’s a little spitfire y’all!
We’ve been under a blanket of snow for the past couple of days. I’ve tagged along in the tractor (that is now working) with Patrick to the top of the hill to get bales of hay for the cows. Up top is one of the best views of the entire place. It was pretty cloudy on this particular day and I love how there is a little blue sky peeking through at the top left.
We’re slowly leading cattle out of the hills into lower pasture closer to home. They’ll be having their calves soon and we don’t need daily trips into the snowy hills looking for cows and their babies.
It was cold and windy but at least the sun came out occasionally which created nice lighting.
Usually my view while herding is full of backsides.
So I moved around front to get their beautiful faces.
They went through the gate and that gave me a minute to get a shot of the gorgeous view from up high.
The beautiful Cooney Hills were lit through the overcast sky.
Once we got into the next pasture, Patrick set out mineral tubs and salt for them. They LOVE this stuff.
I stayed back. I know not to get in the way of a pregnant woman and her sweet tooth!
It is a gorgeous day on the ranch. I cannot believe it is December in Wyoming and the temps are in the upper 30′s. I’m even thinking about opening the windows!
This is the pasture where we will calve this year. Soon it will be covered in momma cows and brand new babies. The girls now are up in the hills you see in the background. They really love it up there and the best way to get them out is to let it get really cold and snowy, take a ride up in the tractor with a full bale of hay, and beep the horn. They will come running from all directions when they see and hear us. They won’t miss the opportunity of a free and easy meal. I’ll be sure to report on that when it happens.
Almost doesn’t seem right to have the falling snow option on the blog with an image like this. Looks like late summer….
We are going to pick up where I left off from Today,at Daybreak.
We started a little before the sun appeared.
The colt we are calling Crazy Alice (name that movie) ran the fence as the cowboys rode down the drive to the pasture. She wanted to go but being true to her name, we’re not putting a saddle on her just yet.
Patrick and Wayne laughed and told stories almost the whole trail. They had some catching up to do.
Good morning Squaw Mountain, we are headed your way!
It took some convincing but Patrick was finally able to get these calves down the hill to mama.
They mothered up quickly and easily so trailing them was uneventful.
Occasionally they would disappear in the dust and dirt of the sheet grass.
Once we got through the canyon of sheet grass, I turned back to see Wayne checking to make sure we didn’t leave any behind. I was so happy to see these clouds and his silhouette. During the trailing, the sky was cloudy and then blue. The sun would appear and then disappear behind clouds. The lighting was diverse all morning. That’s why the exposures here look like they were shot on different days. But they were actually taken over a 5 or 6 hour period.
The cows were happy to get to this pasture. The sun is high, grass is tall and the water is running. This will be their home for the next couple of months.
There isn’t much to say here. I just want you to breathe deep, let the wild sage and jasmine take over your senses while a cool breeze washes over your sun kissed skin.
I’m up before sunrise this morning to work cattle. Yeah Dad, sunrise. Watching the sun come up is equally as beautiful on this fine morning.
Happy Hump Day my friends.
It’s quiet out here except for the howling winds and the snow crunching under my boots. Not much cowboy’ing happens in the winter, just gathering cattle here and there and haying when the snow is high. We’re getting prepared for calving and if all goes as planned, we should start sometime in March. But bulls can be pretty sly and if any of them jumped the fence before the planned conception, we’ll be starting earlier. In the meantime, I plan to meditate with the peaceful sunsets over snow capped mountains because soon, our days and nights will filled with ups and downs, mooing and bawling.
Peace & Love, Leah
This weekend and even today has been busy with collecting scattered cattle on horseback. Several pairs and a couple bulls were deep in the hills and the only way to get to them was by horse. Patrick and I mounted up, climbed the rocks, gathered, sorted and now everyone is where they need to be. Phew!
We’ve certainly had some gorgeous days and even more gorgeous have been the sunsets. I captured these on the way home from getting groceries last night.
The clouds were so colorful. Patrick slammed on the breaks and while groceries hit the back of our seats, I hung out the door to capture the absolute beauty.
Menemsha has beautiful sunsets and we’ve got them too. There’s nothing like that big sky covered with streaks and swirls of colors that you just can’t find in a box of Crayola.
The cows are spending the summer on the Laramie Plains and we go check on them from time to time. I use the term “we” loosely because Patrick goes way more often than I do. But I like to think I do some good on these trips. Hey, I’ve got cows eating cake right out of my hands remember? Anywho, we see a lot of wildlife in this wide open space and I can’t help but share some of the beauty with you once again.
The cows were happy to see us. They gobbled up the salt and mineral. They look really good and tubby out there.
The bulls were not so happy to see us. They never are.
But it didn’t stop them from attempting to get their groove on.
Patrick spotted these guys as I got out of the truck to open a gate.
And I almost stepped on these. Thank goodness Patrick saw them before I became Godzilla and destroyed their town and family.
As we were leaving, we finally spotted our first state flower of the year. You know it’s summer when you finally see Indian Paintbrush.
This guy needed to check us out before we went through his gate. We said hello and went our separate ways.
It was a good day.
I raced inside before the storm clobbered the house. Patrick was driving a tractor over from the South Ranch and made it in a little over an hour. It was still sprinkling so I went out to meet him at the shop and drive him home when I gasped, probably swallowed a bug or something. But there it was, a beautiful and vibrant rainbow. Then I realized it was a double rainbow. The further I drove, I could see it from one end to the other.
I sped past him and the shop yelling,” look at the rainbows! I’ll be right back!”
I didn’t go looking for a pot of gold or anything. It was a treasure in itself to sit and watch the clouds move out and the rainbow fade away. This was my kind of Saturday evening.
We were in Nebraska for a barbecue Saturday evening and I’ve got some great images to share with you soon. We didn’t go to any of the fireworks shindigs but we did have beautiful color in the sky at the ranch this evening. Sunsets are always a treat out here. It was lovely.
This was my view ALL morning long.
And then this. I had to get away from the rear-ends for a while.
Then, and only for a moment, my view became this.
But then back to the cows. We’re trailing them from the Bealy to the Harris for new pasture.
The haze in these 2 images is dust from sheet grass. When we were done, we were covered from head to toe in this dust.
This bull strayed away from the heard so John had to round him up and bring him back to the ladies.
It took a long time, it was hot and the ladies were not happy with that long trail. But I hope they appreciate where we took them. They gotta love this grass!
I love this pasture. The locals can’t believe we’re looking at grass so green in July. So hot, but so beautiful.
On Fathers Day, it seemed only appropriate to gather the bulls from the distant meadows to eventually put them in with the cows. The calves are growing up so it’s time to make new ones. We don’t want the cows to suffer from empty nest syndrome now do we? On this particular day, the bulls were quite agreeable and didn’t give us much trouble at all.
They marched through the meadows like good soldiers. Except for the occasional snort and kicking of dirt, it was a slow and easy process.
It took a little convincing but they made it through the gate without any hassle.
They stopped for a quick snack of flowering yucca weed.
And they made the turn into the corral nice and easy. But this was only the first set of bulls that needed gathering.
The next day we released the bulls with the cows for a little flirting and baby making.
Fast forward to yesterday when it was time to get the last of the bulls. I thought hey no big deal, just like earlier in the week, we’ll get them right in no problem. Well, I was terribly mistaken. These guys were a lot feistier than the previous group. The fighting started almost immediately.
It got rougher and tougher as time went on.
We started to worry that they might drown. They kind of look like hippos don’t they?
They started to slow it down and just stood head to head in a definite power struggle.
This guy was getting sick of the fighting too. He just stood there bellowing trying to beak them up.
Once they got out of the water, it started all over again.
We did get them into the corral and they will be placed with the cows eventually. It’s a good thing, they need to release that testosterone and fast!